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Posted Mon Mar 21 2011: from Mongabay:
UN: Want water? Save forests
The UN-backed Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) is urging nations to conserve their forests in a bid to mitigate rising water scarcity problems. "[Forests] reduce the effects of floods, prevent soil erosion, regulate the water table and assure a high-quality water supply for people, industry and agriculture," said the Forestry Department Assistant Director General, Eduardo Rojas-Briales, with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). "Forests are part of the natural infrastructure of any country and are essential to the water cycle." In addition, forests reduce the impact of droughts, while preventing desertification and salinization, while loss of tropical rainforests has been shown to decrease local rainfall. In addition, cutting-edge research has even established a link between forest cover and winds delivering rainfall, one that remains quite controversial.... According to the UN, within 15 years 1.8 billion people could suffer from 'absolute water scarcity', while two-thirds of the global population could see water scarcities. Currently, 20 percent of people in the developing world don't have access to clean water.
[Read more stories about: water issues, forests, rain forest depletion, ecosystem interrelationships]

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